In Case You Missed It - Top 2017 mBiosphere Posts

Dec. 21, 2017

One of our favorite phrases at ASM is “microbiology touches everything.” The most popular posts here at mBiosphere this year covered the influence of the microbial sciences research on food preparation, infectious disease management, emerging diseases, and immune influence – truly illustrating the broad reach of microbiology! Some of our most popular posts included the following:

Evolution of drug-resistant bacteria never exposed to antibiotics.

Mutations that arise naturally are generally thought to require selection to become part of a population. A new Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy study challenges that thought, by demonstrating the evolution of drug resistance in bacterial lineages never exposed to drugs. This study demonstrates the importance of stewardship in all cases, both transmission of already-resistant strains or selection for newly adapted strains. 

Listeria biofilms resist disinfectants.

Cleaning and disinfecting food prep surfaces is vital to minimize the risk of foodborne pathogen contamination. A new Applied and Environmental Microbiology article shows that well-known foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes resists removal by current industrial formulations of disinfectants. 

Candida auris survives on plastic.

The emerging multidrug-resistant fungal pathogen Candida auris has caused outbreaks in several healthcare facilities. New research from the Journal of Clinical Microbiology suggests the fungus can survive for weeks on plastic surfaces, emphasizing the importance of infection control in these facilities.   

Maybe they’re born with it: intrinsic antibiotic resistance.

Several recently published mBio studies describe new mechanisms of intrinsic antibiotic resistance. These mechanisms may themselves become therapeutic targets to broaden the application of currently available drugs.

Connecting the food supply and urinary tract infections.

An Applied and Environmental Microbiology study found ubiquitous contamination of chicken products in the United States with clinically relevant E. coli strains, which has implications for urinary tract infection transmission. A new book from ASM Press describes UTIs in detail, from virulence mechanisms to clinical diagnoses and treatments.

Melioidosis: the most neglected tropical disease.

“This is a disease so neglected, it’s missing from the WHO list of neglected tropical diseases,” said melioidosis expert David Dance. What is melioidosis, and why was there a full session at the 2017 Biothreats Conference dedicated to this disease?  

Advancing phage therapy.

New research suggests that phage superspreaders may help drive bacterial evolution in natural environments.

Outbreak of H7N2 flu virus in cats.

Few people think of cats when they think of influenza virus carriers, but an H7N2 influenza outbreak has struck a Queens cat shelter. We discuss the ability of H7 influenza viruses to cross the species barrier based on a recent Journal of Virology report.

Association of maternal HSV-2 antibodies and autism spectrum disorder risk.

A new mSphere study finds an association between pregnant women with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection and the risk of ASD in their children. 

Stay tuned in 2018 for more research highlights here at mBiosphere.

Author: Julie Wolf

Julie Wolf
Dr. Julie Wolf is in science communications at Indie Bio, and was a former ASM employee. Follow Julie on Twitter for more ASM and microbiology highlights at @JulieMarieWolf.